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What is emotional intelligence and how it develops: the scheme of Daniel Goleman

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What is Emotional Intelligence? Let's see the definition and the scheme of the psychologist Daniel Goleman to better develop it.

Since 1990 we started talking about emotional intelligence, even if it has been deepened especially since 1995 by the psychologist and scientific journalist Daniel Goleman. Let's see what is meant by emotional capacity and why it is important to develop it and cultivate it to the fullest throughout life.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage one's emotions in a positive way. By doing so, you relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflicts. To simplify the concept, emotional intelligence is achieved when mind and heart travel hand in hand, in perfect harmony. This means being extremely aware of your own and others' emotions and what they may be triggering. To develop this ability it is necessary to be good at conceiving oneself and others as subjects with mental states .

Emotional intelligence owes its coining to the authors Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer who, in 1990, spoke about it for the first time in the article Emotional intelligence , published in the magazine Imagination, Cognition and Personality. " The ability to control one's own and others' feelings and emotions, to distinguish between them and to use this information to guide one's thoughts and actions ", this is the emotional intelligence by definition of the two professors. Later, Daniel Goleman , a psychologist and science journalist, developed the concept further. It was he, in 1995, who published the book Emotional intelligence: what it is and why it can make us happy.

Goleman and emotions: the five pillars scheme

According to Goleman, emotional capacity is made up of certain skills that are fundamental for the psychophysical well-being of the individual. The scheme of the psychologist and scientific journalist is based on five pillars :

  • self-awareness: knowing how to recognize emotions at the exact moment they arise;
  • self-regulation: being able to manage emotions, without denying or eliminating them, making sure that they do not prevail over thoughts and self-control;
  • self-motivation;
  • empathy: knowing how to understand the emotions of others;
  • social skills: ability to have influence, to use effective persuasion tactics, to communicate effectively, to manage conflicts, to cooperate in teams, to be a good leader, and so on.

To fully understand emotional intelligence, one cannot stop at the definition or characteristics, but it is necessary to test oneself in order to develop it to the fullest. Goleman's scheme does just that: to identify areas for improvement and to work on them.

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